Category Archives: Vacation Spots

Christmas in the Philippines

I just received a call from my cousin, requesting us to take them to the airport on Monday. For some reason, a blessing rained on them that they have to rush to the Philippines for a week. I’m envious, but I’m happy for her that she could celebrate her Gold Birthday (if there’s such a thing) with her family in the province of Negros Occidental.

I’d been hoping for the day when my husband could witness Christmas in the Philippines. We’d always gone home in June which allowed us 6 weeks of rainy day vacation–not that I’m complaining–it’s still time with the family! But…Christmas!!! It’s the most celebrated time of the year.

Maybe, I’ll add pictures when I get the chance.

UPDATE: 3-19-2011

After 3 months I finally got to my pictures–dropping off my cousin and family at LAX. Their flight was supposed to leave sometime at 10 a.m.– and 3hrs before departure they must be at the airport, shooting for 7 a.m.! The plan was to leave between 5:30 and 6 a.m., and of course…at 4:30, everyone was getting ready. It was a rainy morning, and Christmas travel being always busy–time allowance should be factored in for wise measure.

Entering LAX

As the light changes colors.

Mesmerizing colors!

Leaving the lights behind.

It's the LAX tower!

It's just another plane!

We're almost there...inch by inch!

Here we come...Philippines!

 

Of course...we need a cart--or 2!

Sure...3 boxes and counting!

Time to head home in the rain.

Thank G*d for a little break from the rain.

           And most of all, we missed most of the traffic…glad we were not on the other side of the road. I think, there was an accident we just missed.
           Fast forward to them coming back just in one weekI still say not even Christmas can make me do it. (SIDE BAR: I did it once in 2005…for a once in a lifetime family reunion while 9 of us siblings were still complete…still are, which is a blessing! They tried to at least accommodate my one week spring break.)
          Sort of our golden rule–Take the SHUTTLE in coming home, and don’t bring back a lot of stuff. I, most especially, don’t want to wait for any delayed flight…my husband and I take the shuttle ourselves when we come back from vacation. I even refuse to take anything that wouldn’t fit in our carry-on luggage. WHY?
          Here’s just why–my cousin & family missed their connecting flight in another country, waited overnight and almost did not get on the unconfirmed new connecting flight, chanced another available flight from Manila to the province, and– lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas (also her 50th Birthday)–with the third day just enough to go back to Manila for their flight back to the US. Mission accomplished!
           However, the following day she had to go back to work…only to find herself too sick to finish a day of work. She and her daughter got sick for the rest of the week. How can anyone convince me that Christmas in the Philippines for a week is worth all the trouble? To me…this would simply be a torture!

 

Posted at https://zylla3.wordpress.com

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Where Dreams Come True

Disneyland is synonymous to Fairylandia in every Filipino vocabulary–from the time of growing up days to learning the use of computer when the internet brings the magic of Disney to the home. So commercialized…yet still a dream destination to some who finally have the chance to come close to its entrance. There’s Hong Kong Disney that’s a little closer to the Philippines and therefore a favorite dream destination for those who can afford, but when there’s a chance to make it to the U.S.–Florida or California–Disneyland is in the list of must-see places.

Florida might be the ultimate Disney, but if you are in Anaheim, California, and just 10 min away, then Disney destination it is. My niece was lucky enough to have more time this summer than when she just got here a year ago from the Philippines. Here’s her day at Disneyland with her younger cousin. To me Disney has already lost her magic, and I don’t do more than being just the drop-off and pick-up chauffer.

I should say there’s a free area that you can walk around…even with free parking if you don’t exceed 3 hours. It’s a good deal for those who really wouldn’t care for the rides and would just need a peek to the wonders of Disney. That’s as far I would suggest one should go, but that’s just me. The real experience begins when you pay for it.

There she is…with her smile, ready to blend in with the crowd–dream no more!

Not a bad place to take the kids for a couple of hours and walk off their energy.

Ever tried going in here?…uh, too bad there are still lots of things to see around.

Teen-agers could have fun, too…tons of rides to choose from after the fun walk.

Not just teen-agers and kids…maybe business associates might like it, too.

 

However, the real fun begins when you get to the rides where you can have choices from the kiddie stuff to the scary ones. It might take you the entire day until you drop….You want to get the most of what you pay for. Anaheim residents can still get a lower prices of $46.00 or $56 for two days which you can use within 30 days. Otherwise, you’ll pay the full prize of $86 I believe.

Since we are only 10 minutes away from it, we tried to schedule the activity in such a way that my niece and company could go out of the park and have lunch at our place for a tiny fraction or resort charges…then go back in the afternoon. That break allowed them not only to save  a bundle but also recharge to last until the closing time that usually culminates with the magic of firework dislay. 

Who doesn’t want to see Cinderella’s pink castle? Appealing to all young and old.

And, just to prove the appeal to all kinds of people from all walks of life–smile!

Little tea cups for the kids…nope! Of course, for the adults and teen-agers, too.

This was even my favorite, going around the theme park and looking down on it!

Another of my favorite…Tom Sawyer’s cruise line. If only it would last–aahhh!

Not anymore for me but the fun at Disneyland could continue for the rest of ’em.

Mary Poppins and escort are not busy…it’s time for a souvenir picture–quick!!!

Had this fire truck ever served its purpose before? Hmm…may need to research.

 

When one gets tired from wandering around, it’s a chance to get in line and find some place to sit down for a little while. This time the Safari Jungle seems to be a restful stop-over; what could be better than a boat ride?

A boat ride is a fabulous way to rest your feet while the eyes continue to feast!!!

This must be a trophy for one hunter who proved to be mightier than the beast.

Who wants to enter the lions’ den? Is it bonding time…the Lion King family of 4?

Where giraffes and zebras roam…a perfect picture of tranquility & co-existence.

Must be fun ride with dumbo in the jungle…looking so alive, posing like a king. 

In the green green river…gently swim with Hippo, the snorting hippopotamus.

Sneaky snake as he blends in with the tree roots…lost in its silvery color. Eeehh!

 

Then we go down yonder…where the pirates hide. The hidden life of booze, women, and wealth. Was this the ultimate life of fun and joy? Where could we find some left-over treasures? Would it be in this secret passage

Discover the pirates’ secret passage as we start from this house at the entrance.

As we follow the course of the river,… only little lights punctuate the darkness!

This must be the ship that takes them to places outside their world of wonders.

Are they ever home when they’re not out in the sea?  Is there a need for sleep???

What’s their market like? Can you tell how their day in the ‘mercado’ goes at all?

La Cantina? What a life! What could have been their contributions to this world?

What now? Is this some ceremonial gathering of some sort, or just death march?

Where could these treasures be? Is it sunken somewhere for you and me to find?

I don’t want to be like her… before I could find the pirates’ legacy to civilization.

 

Time for late lunch and a much needed rest…keep that hand stamped as a pass to come back later for the parade. Yes…there’s a parade of Disney characters later. We woudn’t want to miss all the wonderful stuff. Then 4pm came and time to be back at Disneyland grounds. (Videos will be posted when I have the time to learn the wonderful ins and outs of it.)

Here comes the parade…with everyone lined up on the streets waiting patiently!

Can you find Alice in her Wonderland…see the other side of blue wonder worm?

How can Ariel not have fun? Up, up in the air after being hidden down the ocean.

Ursula with her monstrous charm…what would Ariel’s life without her? Heaven!

Beautiful seaweeds…colorfully floating on the ocean and playing with the waves.

Time to say thank you for the magical day…California Adventure in another day!

 

Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com.

One Saturday Afternoon at the Beach

It’s getting close to summer again…with the heat and my niece being here in California, what better free entertainment for kids on Saturday afternoon than the beach. In her heart she’d rather be in the Philippines, but this is the closest she can get to home. And she’s still enjoying it anyhow. A beach is a beach is a beach.

Since we had some kids to help grow up 11 years ago, we had a few free tricks to keep them entertained. Somehow we never ran out of kids. We revisited our favorite beach hang out–still with the same 3 boogie boards we have kept in our garage. My husband and I were lazy then, and we’re still lazy now. We have our chairs, ensuring that we could see them not going too far out in the water. My niece was really comfortable playing with the younger ones.

Did we say it’s free? So…the kids had to go ahead while we were wasting our precious gas going around–waiting for a break to find a parking space. What better way to find them than being close to guardpost #27?

Then they were gone as we got there…off to the water. Nevermind the big waves.

Still hot at 5 pm…really windy, and we could see that the waves were bigger than they would have wanted it to be to swim comfortably enough.

Hhmmm! Should we really dare? Now touching it–the water seems colder too.

Maybe it’s not so bad if we start getting wet…isn’t that right? Aren’t we brave???

Why don’t we build sandcastles first? That could probably keep the chills away.

Yeah! Sure, isn’t it fun? Just wait a minute…the sand is starting to hurt my palms.

Whoaaa! How can we keep the waves from destroying our castle? More…more!

Okay…okay…stop! Our little hands can’t stop the waves from crashing into it.

Going…going…Gone! It’s time to really enjoy the waves…not that cold anymore!

Ha…ha…ha…didn’t I tell you the water is fun and not that cold once we’re in it?

The two kids didn’t really seem convinced they could ride their boogie boards.

Stare at the waves!!! If we wait a little while, these waves might take pity on us.

Wheeeew! I don’t think so…it’s eating me alive! Where am I??? Can you see me?

Yay! I’m still alive. Actually it’s really fun being swallowed and spit up by a wave.

As the kids continued to find joy in the cold water, which they swore wasn’t cold anymore, I found some other entertaining diversions with a little help from my ‘lil camera. My niece thought my shots were pretty creative and my husband wondered if it was the same camera he was using to take his drum pictures for his website and eBay auctions. Of course, it is! It gave me simple pleasures today.

I love this picture! Can you guess what you see up in the sky? A crescent moon?

I guess, this is what they call wind surfing…and this guy is having a blast! Yes!

I just can’t catch him doing the flips too. It’s fun watching him. No, no…not me!

Here’s another one…*flip*…truly mesmerizing! He has the ocean all to himself.

Footprints in the sand…little footprints…wonderful sand…happy children…sigh!

And that’s my foot…against the sandy shore, inching to test the water. Bbrrrrr!

…my husband lost into oblivion…starting to wonder if the kids aren’t cold at all.

Sure, it’s getting windier…and colder…and darker. If we’ll leave it to the kids, they’ll keep saying it’s not cold even if the little one had said to her older cousin: “Why do we enjoy the sand hurting our hands?” “Why are we having fun in this cold water?” And, I’m sure there are many more questions similar to what I’m asking…but it was a fun afternoon for them, and a welcome break for us–even for just the change of venue.

Originally Posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Loving Those Young Coconuts

It’s been known that a coconut palm is an indesputable tree of life (?), but my husband loves it for some simple pleasures it provides. It all started when our family friend who has the tree at his sister’s house got curious as to how a foreigner would like it. Since he had some ready for picking, he went to climb it himself. They have the dwarf version so it wasn’t so bad. Proud as he was of that beautiful bunch fresh from his tree, he handed two to my husband to see what he would do with them.

This green coconuts are soft and could be eaten in several ways.

The juice had been saved; they’re ready for anyone to scoop them.

My husband’s turn to figure out what to do with his share. Yeahhh!

Nothing better than drinkin’ it str*t–hmm, straight from the nut.

Coconut trees thrive in tropical places, which means we can find these incredible trees in abundance in the Philippines–beach, mountains, or valleys. I’m counting the days when we go on vacation in June. I should have booked our tickets in March [but I’d been so consumed by blogging] and now I’m hoping that our agent would find cheaper ones than what I found at the internet today.

Here are a few coconut shots from the beach of Boracay when my sister’s family went there in October. My niece got one of those heavily discounted tickets during the rainy months. You just have to know how to dodge the storms–just kidding–pray that there wouldn’t be showers and thunderstorms while you’re on board the plane, I guess. Be brave and Boracay beach will not disappoint you.

The beach still seems welcoming; discounted ticket is worth braving the storm.

Did the storm run the poor boat aground? It’s simply high tide…isn’t that so?

Now…it’s really bad. The storm is here and it’s starting to really sink that ship.

Nah…they had a wonderful time, and maybe one day, I will take my own pictures of the coconuts. Too bad…when I was growing up in Negros, I didn’t have the chance to take pictures to contrast the inland coconuts, and some of them were even in the middle of sugarcane plantations. Those were the days I did not even realize how our lives were enriched by the coconut trees planted by my grandfather’s parents. I just knew they were my gradfather’s pride…and our family’s joy in many ways.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Love from the Heart, Life from the Hearth

You have to love the Philippines to come back and retire there; you have to love life to be in front of the hearth without complaint. I don’t know why someone would search for ‘kitchen in the Philippines’ but it reminded me of the ‘dapog’ [hearth] we have while growing up in the remote farm of Hacienda Estrellas [I think it’s Spanish, meaning ‘farm of stars’] but it was really named after the sugarcane plantation owner’s last name of Estrellas.

However, let’s go back to that kitchen a long time ago. Oh, I wish I had the picture of that hearth as it was the essence of our family’s simple existence. Numerous poignant stories of growing up revolved around there. [Another blog later maybe or when I learn to do the links]. I should probably mention…there was no electricity and running water. Unless you have gone camping, you probably won’t understand that kind of survival. Don’t get me wrong, it was the time dearest to my heart. Maybe one day, I’ll recreate our place in my dream village.

The hearth inside the house is a luxury in the farm. That’s how I look at it now, considering that most farmers and laborers have a Nipa Hut just enough to give the family a roof over their heads…that when the night comes, they would find shelter from whatever lurks in the darkness of the night. They usually cook outside [lucky to have a make-shift cover to protect the hearth from rain].

If you can visualize 3 rocks arranged in a triangle, that’s the basic of the hearth. These rocks elevate the pot and allow the chopped pieces of wood to be positioned underneath the pot. This is just the preliminary activity; the actual cooking has not begun yet. If the luxury of an old newspaper wrap is not available, you just have to be resourceful to find your fire starter from nature as wood will not catch fire like the way the stove’s pilot light would start your cooking. It’s a lot of blowing, which is probably a good lung exercise. It could be a lot of crying too–from the smoke…or maybe from the hard work. Nobody questions…it’s a chore to be done.

I actually came across a few of the different pictures of bathrooms that one of the Lonely Planet pioneers took in his travels, and I think that was pretty interesting. You reeeally wouldn’t want me to post the Philippine ones, but that’s an idea someday when I travel to the bundoks [Tagalog origin of boondocks]. I’ll try to see what I can find on these kitchens though. I think I have one blurry picture from 50 years ago when they were cooking outside during some celebration [not digital…scanning???]. This must have been the reason why Filipinos have traditionally want a ‘dirty kitchen’ in their houses. Did you say why would someone want a dirty kitchen? Believe me, we cook a lottttt of things that could make our kitchen dirty. I’ll show you some when I get to it.

For now, I have the ready pictures of — what can be better than Fairrr[h]view kitchens. I was ambitious at first and I thought I’ll have the small stove/oven combination in the furnished unit. My sister was practically aghast at the idea, but she went along with one trial. After a year without any takers, it was transferred downstairs when we finally did my own kitchen.

      grn rm

 This is the kitchen [fan-only unit] with the ‘dirty kitchen’/laundry area. 

    

Our A/C unit kitchen–same layout in all other units, just different colors.

This kitchen [from the window] shows the location of the cooking area.

The second floor 1st unit has an extended area intended for family gatherings.

This family hub is still at its finishing stage; now it’s the hubbub of activity.

This picture has no bottom cupboard yet, same style as the one above the sink.

My sister wanted to finish the kitchen downstairs so she transferred the stove.

 The cupboards were done by one of the workers with doors bought from SM.

 

This island needs bar stools but I’m too cheap…maybe my worker can make one.

Still with miniature fridge…and on the other side of the door is the dirty kitchen.

 The dirty kitchen…still clean–no plans for dirty cooking yet.

    

My favorite nook–adjacent to the dirty kitchen/our bedroom extension.

Our bedroom is connected to my favorite little nook…a secret access just for me.

From the hearth…to the heart of Fairview, or should it be from the heart to the hearths of Fairview apartments. Where are we? Stuck here in California in an old house [that I equally love] but hard to maintain for just the two of us–again! Even my husband misses my family as much as I do…especially the bigger kids that keep him company. I can’t blame the guy for wanting to retire before retirement.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Different Names of the Philippines?

Technically the Philippines has only one name–the Philippines. In some ways it is as complicated as the Netherlands, if not more, since Holland (even if it is just a region) is also used to mean the whole country of the Netherlands. Who knows if it has also suffered some spelling ‘butcherization’ (lol-don’t ask me) as much as the Philippines. Also, ask WiKi…if you want to have the precise info.

Manila, just like Holland, is well-known enough as much as the country itself, but not to mean the whole country as well. Probably most people recognize Manila for its pollution and Philippines for its corruption (tongue-in-cheek: coming from a Filipina and a ManileNa by choice who is a Negrense by birth…from Negros Occidental, which brings the question shouldn’t we Negrense be called _______ instead?).

Somewhere in this blog I’ve touched on this topic as Bob Martin’s mentioned the different ways the Philippines is being referred to, which could be ‘touchy’ from PI to Phils [as well as the shortened ‘Pinas to most Filipinos] and other spelling or understandable misspellings: Phillipines (named after King Philip but there’s a Phillip variation), Phillippines (there’s a double somewhere), Philippine (nevermind the 7,107 islands), and many more (not counting typographical errors) that possibly stuck to one’s memory…after all, it’s not just the U.S. or U.S.A. It’s good enough that somebody even recognizes it as a part of the globe.

Consequently, Filipinos are thought to be Philipinos, Filippinos, etc. other than ‘Pinoys‘. Let’s not forget that the language is the lackluster Pilipino that is even outshined (yes, outshone) by Tagalog. One thing though that I’m very particular…my young nieces and nephews are always reminded: if I can’t make them speak Pilipino, they should know the intricate differences of the basic identity of their parents’ country of origin–the Philippines!

Added spelling [or misspellings] of Filipino variation I just came across that I haven’t included in my previous list: Philippino! This one makes a lot of sense to me; after all we are from the Philippines. I understand that ph and f are sound variants…but why in the same family of words? I should probably delve further into this nonsense in my ESL blog. Are Filipinos that complicated animals? Opssss! Hhssss! Grrrlll!

Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Survivors Philippines, Real TV?

Mr. Google is really turning out to be a real interesting friend [or foe]…rivaling my fascination with Mr. Webster. I’m starting to have some great friends! Each day is turning to be an amazing-if not amusing-day of information explosion. No Einstein here: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

Would it qualify that I imagined SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES? Did I? I had FIRST posted my SOUL SURVIVOR (4/5/08). They were PINOYs too.  I just happened to google ‘that’–and what came up amazed me:

Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR? (4/8/08)
The biggest, most popular and groundbreaking reality show that changed the face of television worldwide is now in GMA. Find out how to join Survivor Philippines!

For awhile I thought it has something to do with Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; then it dawned on me–it’s the TV channel. Now amused…I searched further, and I clicked on…more…and more…

Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR?

04/08/2008 | 10:17 AM

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PAUTAKAN! PAGALINGAN! PATATAGAN! [*]

GMA is in search of contestants from 18 to 60 years old, physically fit and willing to become castaways and endure intense physical and mental challenges in an unfamiliar territory for 39 days.

If you think you got what it takes to be one of the 16 castaways for SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES….

 

Coincidence? I’m getting a lot of serendipity moments now that I even included it in my still cluttered categories. My curiosity brought me to dig deeper…nothing more than these ‘not really Filipino Survivor’ 

» Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR?

» PEP: Survivor shooting in Camarines Sur?

» With racial split, ‘Survivor’ returns

» GM withdraws CBS’ ‘Survivor’ sponsorship

 

 

Wasted more time, just to find out when they started it, but the about section is still blank, as well as the host one is blank too–hmmm???!–you think I should apply? No longer funny…bordering on getting rediculous! Dream no more…remember RETIREMENT. These TV stuff is taking me away from MY FAIRVIEW goal.

I won’t leave you without translating those Pilipino words (no Pilipino dictionary available here).

*PAUTAKAN — whoever could emerge the wisest (like the sly fox)…the more scheming the better!

*PAGALINGAN — whoever could prove the most skillful will be the best…measure of intelligence???

*PATATAGAN –whoever could remain the strongest…alone, will not make one a winner!

All 3 will be the qualifying marks of their GMA SOLE SURVIVOR winner; mine: just being dirt poor will be enough to qualify as SOUL SURVIVOR Philippines! Is this going to be a competition for Dancing with the Stars?

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Survivor Philippines, Reality

Survivor reality show may be one of the successful shows on TV [even without me watching it]…but I’m still stuck in time with Matlock and Perry Mason. I’m not big on reality shows…can’t stand drama and clashes on TV. There’s so much of that in real life. If I want to watch real survivors, I can do that when we’re vacationing in the Philippines. I just have to stand from the balcony of our house, and I will see the reality of existence. That’s one reason I have no cable TV here in California; that saving alone goes a long way to help one family’s survival in the Philippines. [DSL though is another matter; I’ll go hungry for this internet connection. It helps save my sanity!]

pan-de-sal vendor

Early morning you’ll wake-up to the call of the pandesal (bread) vendor. Just what you need for your coffee.

Vegetables come to your house...just have to wait.

Vegetables come to your house…you just have to wait at your doorstep.

Want some fish with your vegetable…that too can come to your house?

 tricycle vendor

 Snack time in the afternoon, maybe in the morning too.

working--cement mixing

This is cement mixing…with audience–also waiting for something to collect?

road work

Nawasa (water connection repairs) before roadwork.

Why then am I wasting my breath on TV Survivor? I googled it–still fascinated–Survivor: Micronesia; Survivor is even going to China??? In one of our little talks today, my husband mentioned Turtle Bay Resort is going out of business [?], and it’s up for sale as condos. Nice retirement…facing the ocean, only for $250,000. ONLY??? Well, again, this is Hawaii. And he threw in…it seems Survivor films their TV episodes there, not that we care. Not that we can afford it either, just wishful thinking. I tried googling it anyway [life with google]… after 3 pages, that’s the end of it.

I’ve seen a bit of Turtle Island, Fiji, and more Turtle Islands in other parts of the world [didn’t go into them anymore]. However, I didn’t see the turtle island that my joker friend was saying we have in the Philippines. Of the many uninhabited islands we have there, we can afford to have snake island too, and whatever animals we fancy to have their islands. After all we have only about 1,700 islands humankind can really visit–not all of the 7,107 (maybe 1 more during low tide)–isn’t that enough islands for every animalkind?

If you’re interested in that retirement condos in Turtle Bay Resort [?], Hawaii, have fun with Mr. Google as your guide. It’s not really in my line of interest…I’m already sunk in that apartment of ours in the Philippines. Now I’m reminded: Taxes, taxes, and more taxes, and tax time is almost over. I’m one reality survivor in the Philippines. [sigh!]

——————————–

I’m coming back to this post to let you know: There Really Is Turtle Island in the Philippines! Check this out– http://philecotourism.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/my-turtle-island-birthday-prayer/  –it’s by a volunteer and the group of dental students. I’ll check it out further. Serendipity is creeping up in my blogs!

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

What Will PhP5000 Buy You in the Philippines?

When you basically ask yourself some journalistic questions as a starting point, you’ll find the answers in varied ways that will boil down to your own flexibility and tolerance. The Philippines may have as many as 7,107 islands (…and, did somebody say 7,108 islands during low tide?), but only approximately 1000 are inhabited. If my joker friend should be believed, there’s one island that you’ll find only snakes and another only turtles. He lives in Naval (Visayan Islands) where there are numerous tiny islands. That’s a place you could buy your own island. Without a doubt my friend exaggerates; how much grain-of-salt you have to splash into his stories is your call.

Where are you planning to stay? If you start from my apartment, a day in the life of a king could be possible. Though I can’t promise a queen unless you are one; that would be a queen without a king, just the maids at your service. We’re not close to the beach, but we can take you to Subic in Olongapo where what used to be the U.S. military base is now a tourist area. Or if you want a day by the pool side, we can go as far as Laguna or Tagaytay…maybe simply sightseeing within a 3-hour drive radius. Another option is Boracay Beach as your kingdom for a day. If you are a frugal backpacker, who can eat what the locals eat (or survive on noodles and the kind) and sleep where the locals sleep, then you could last a month finding beauty and peace in places where raw nature abounds. Do you really need that running water in that thing they call faucet? What do you mean hot? Just don’t ask anymore questions! There’s always that middle ground somewhere only you can ascertain.

In March 2005, an unbelievable reunion came to fruition.

9S reunion

All 9 siblings (start from right counterclockwise full circle to the youngest) were there alive and kicking…only our father was not physically present but I knew then he was looking down on us chuckling, like I could hear it with him sitting next to me. What can I say…I was his first baby!

subic-tyoy

My uncle, Mother’s only brother, stays with our family. One of my favorite pictures is a wonderful contrast to the picture of my nephew below.

subic-ral

With Ral growing up in the same house, he brings joy to Tiyoy’s (Uncle).

***************************************************************

Let’s move on to the next questions. When are you going to travel? How long are you staying, and how are you moving from place to place? Who will be traveling with you? What are you planning to do during your stay in the area of choice? Hopefully we’ll be able to address these questions at some point in time; otherwise, you’re on your way to launch your own adventure. Good luck and I hope you’ll find your own place of pleasure anywhere in the Philippines.